UPDATE: And just like that it’s gone. Astros catcher Carlos Corporan just hit a one-out homer to right. No doubt about. Just yanked it out of the park. We now return you to your regularly scheduled ordinary game. Well, apart from the part where Darvish does have 15 strikeouts. Which is pretty darn good.
4:19 PM: Yu Darvish has no-hit the Astros through seven innings this afternoon and has 13 strikeouts under his belt. The Astros’ lineup is certainly not fearsome, but Darvish has looked incredible so far today. The Rangers lead 2-0.
It would be a perfect game but for a horrendous call on a pitch to Jonathan Villar that should have been strike three. Instead it brought the count full and Villar walked on the next pitch. As soon as the walk was issued catcher A.J. Pierzynski said something to home plate umpire Ron Kulpa which caused Kulpa to eject him immediately. From the looks of it Kulpa seemed like the guy instigating the aggression, but of course Pierzynski is known for being something less than a gentleman at times. If someone is gonna say the magic words to an umpire, A.J. is the one. Still, you’d think an ump would develop some thicker skin before ejecting a guy’s catcher in the middle of a no-hot bid. I’m sure we’ll hear about it all later.
Either way, Darvish has tossed 96 pitches through seven innings. Given how helpless the Astros look at the moment, we could have a no-no on our hands.
Why is this man smiling? Man, I wouldn’t be smiling if I read what I just read.
This is the week when ESPN’s Keith Law releases his prospect and farm system rankings. He kicks off his content this week with a top-to-bottom ranking of all 30 farm systems. As a rule he limits his analysis to players who are currently in the minors and who have not yet exhausted their rookie of the year eligibility.
For the second straight year, Law ranks the Braves as the best system in baseball. Number two — making a big leap from last year’s number 13 ranking – is the New York Yankees. Dead last: the Arizona Diamondbacks, which Law says “Dave Stewart ritually disemboweled” over the past two years. That’s gotta hurt.
If you want to know the reasons and the rankings of everyone in between you’ll have to get an ESPN Insider subscription. Sorry, I know everyone hates to pay for content on the Internet, but Keith and others who do this kind of work put a lot of damn work into it and this is what pays their bills. I typically don’t like to pay for content myself, but I do pay for an ESPN Insider subscription. It’s worth it for Law’s work alone.
The Toronto Blue Jays, like a lot of teams, will wear an alternate jersey next year. It’ll be for Sunday home games. They call it their “Canadiana,” uniforms. Which, hey, let’s hear it for national pride.
(question to Canada: my grandmother and my three of my four maternal great-grandparents were Canadian. Does that give me any rights to emigrate? You know, just in case? No reason for asking that today. Just curious!).
Anyway, these are the uniforms:
More like RED Jays, am I right?
OK, I am not going to leave this country. I’m going to stay here and fight for what’s right: a Major League Baseball-wide ban on all red alternate jerseys for anyone except the Cincinnati Reds, who make theirs work somehow. All of the rest of them look terrible.
Oh, Canada indeed.